Saturday, July 08, 2006

bee week #1

This morning I harassed my beehive for real for the first time. I had to switch the unpainted hive body for the painted one. Also I had to make sure that the queen got out of her little cage and was laying eggs.


This is where my bees live. I am not one hundred percent pleased with the location, which I picked out in a hurry, thinking I could move it later. Then I realized I can only move it at night otherwise all the bees out foraging will not be able to find their way home. So I guess I will just live with it. (It would be better if it got more morning sun to make sure that the bees wake up nice and early.)


Here are some of my little darlings at the entrance. They will get to have a larger entrance once there are more of them. Sometimes other bees try to rob them or else wasps and things try to come in. This way the entrance is small enough that they can defend it.


The bees are doing a good job and have built a lot of comb. Also some of the cells have pollen, so I know they are actually going out and working and not just filling the cells with Wegmans sugar. See, they start with just a flat sheet of foundation in each frame and they have to build the cells out of wax, you can see some foundation in the lower right corner, it is yellow with wires through it. Here is some screwy comb they have built where the queen cage was. See, if there is more than 3/8" of space between the frames they fill it up with their own comb and the little wooden box with the queen inside was between this frame and the next one, so there was too much space. I had to take this chunk off, which was slightly nerve-wracking, because I am still beekeeping without a veil. This is not because I am a tough guy (although clearly I am a tough guy) but because it was backordered, so I cancelled it, and then I lost my debit card so now I can't order anything until I get a new one. Anyway, the bees are nice and I am not afraid of them, but pulling apart big chunks of their house while they have the potential to fly up and sting me on the eyeball is still not that fun.

Also the queen was still in her cage. They ate a hole through the queen candy but not a big enough hole for the queen to squeeze her fat ass through. So I had to let her out and there was an exciting moment where she ran around on top of the frames and acted like she might fly away before she went down into the hive. But now I think everything is fine and she better get to work and lay some damn eggs.


What clever little bees.


My uncle plowed this field for me. Now he has to disc it. I don't know what that means because although I am highly fascinated by farming, I know very little about it. Anyway then I am going to plant buckwheat for my bees. The middle of July is apparently the proper time for planting buckwheat, luckily. Then in late August he will plow it under and I will plant red clover, which grows in the fall, and then comes back and blooms in the spring. Then my little bees will be happy, assuming they are still alive in the spring. The hive is way back in the trees at the very very end of fields in the picture. So everyone who is asking me about my grandparents neighbors being upset about the bees, see? Don't worry. The backyard is very large.

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